CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden announced 3-year-old Amali, a bonobo baby, has died.
The zoo announced Amali’s passing on its website Monday.
“This loss comes after a week of supportive care, due to a respiratory syntactical virus (RSV) outbreak within the bonobo troop,” reads the announcement on the zoo’s website.
RSV is common among human babies and cases have been increasing in the past two years; most children survive the virus, but it is still dangerous, specifically for younger babies.
According to the Cincinnati Zoo, bonobo babies are also incredibly susceptible to RSV and secondary infections that can happen alongside the virus.
The bonobo troop were able to say a final goodbye to Amali to start the grieving process after her unexpected death, the zoo said.
“The entire bonobo troop adored her; from our large adult males to her half-brother Bo, everyone was a playmate but made sure to be gentle and tender with her,” said one of Amali’s caretakers. “Bonobos are incredibly intelligent and their social group is tight-knit.”
The zoo did not say how many bonobos may have been affected by the RSV outbreak, or how many have gotten sick from the virus. They did say the troop is showing signs of recovery and staff remains hopeful that the infection has mostly run its course.
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